The 5:2 Diet and me!
I never thought I’d write a diet book… or two recipe book…. or a guide to being happier and healthier! And yet, now I’ve done all four.
The 5:2 Diet Book – originally published in November 2012 – has gone onto be published in more than 20 different languages – while The Ultimate 5:2 Recipe Book, which came out in Spring 2013, includes dozens of delicious menu ideas, plus the stories of some of the most successful dieters who have helped spread the word about this lifestyle. 5:2 Your Life, combines a six-week eating plan, with a complete guide to applying this easy, flexible approach to everything that matters in your life – from family, relationships and friends, to work, fitness and living your dreams. In 2015, I published 5:2 Good Food Kitchen, with more mouth-watering ideas for Fast and non-fasting days, and more amazing stories.
The newest addition is 5:2 Summer-Ready, a short ebook sampler of recipes, tips and ideas, with its own accompanying meditation and inspirational podcast download.
From yoyo dieter to diet author… the most unlikely transformation of my life
In some ways I am a diet expert. I’ve tried – and failed at – more than my share of miracle weight loss cures over the years. But earlier this year I accepted that I lacked he willpower to keep the weight off, even though I knew it was putting me at increased risk of cancer and Type II diabetes, both of which have blighted my family…
And then I discovered 5:2 dieting – sticking to a strict diet for two days a week, and being free to eat the foods I love the rest of the time. I watched the BBC’s Horizon programme in August 2012, where presenter Michael Mosley tried out different approaches to fasting. The one that really appealed to me was the intermittent version he tried after speaking to researcher Krista Varady in Chicago. It seemed too good to be true, promising not just weight loss but also reduced risk of the diseases that scared me most, and even positive effects on the brain.
I looked for a book about the approach, but all I could find seemed to be written by body builders, or Paleo dieters, who follow a stone age style regime involving a lot of meat – as a long-term vegetarian, that didn’t seem relevant.
Despite my doubts, I decided I had nothing to lose except my muffin top and followed my instincts. Within days, I sensed it would work for me. After six months, I’d lost 28 pounds – two stone – and was a healthy weight. But, much more significantly, it transformed my attitude to food and hunger, and now, three years on, I’m 31lbs lighter than when I started.
I wanted to spread the word – so The 5:2 Diet Book was born…
When I started the diet, I had dozens of questions – about the incredible science behind the diet, about how much to eat on ‘Fasting’ days, and whether it was really true that I could eat whatever foods I liked on my Feasting Days. It was pretty time-consuming trying to find out the truth – I went online to read original research studies, and also set up a Facebook group with a few friends I knew were doing the same thing. That same group encouraged me to put the findings – and their own tips, recipes and approaches to what people started calling 5:2 (or 5/2, 5-2 or five-two) – into a book. And that’s how The 5:2 Diet Book came about! Oh, and that group that began with six members, now has over 40,000… (you can join in the fun here).